I'm working on creating a pre-industrial culture of tundra-nomads that herd large, yak-like beasts with large bodies and thick wool, but I'm having trouble figuring out what their clothing would look like. They would definentially have to be warm enough to allow them to survive through the cold temperatures of the long winter, probably by implementing the wool provided from their creatures, but I'm not sure how it would look or even function for a people who have to do a large amount of physical activity. Any answer helps!

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    $\begingroup$ Have you done any research into the clothing of real world tundra dwelling cultures? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Apr 25, 2022 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ Canada Geographic website has a whole article on the tranditional clothing of Inuit peoples (indigenouspeoplesatlasofcanada.ca/article/clothing). If you want to read about different cultures, I would look into the indigenous peoples of Siberia next. $\endgroup$
    – E Tam
    Apr 25, 2022 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! And yes, I have done a little bit of research, but I didn't really dig any deeper. I will do that :^) $\endgroup$
    – tbelle9
    Apr 25, 2022 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ What is the tech level of those people? Hides come first, then felt, then fabrics/knitwear. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Apr 25, 2022 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander their tech level is at about the same level as the Inuit culture. I've been doing some more research since posting this question, and I think the Inuit culture is a great culture to use as an example for my own, along with Tibetan nomad culture. $\endgroup$
    – tbelle9
    Apr 26, 2022 at 13:51

3 Answers 3


Herd Beast Hide Coat

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The above is a Sami Reindeer hide coat. The Sami are a nomadic people who traditionally herd reindeer in Northern Scandinavia.

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Of course there are also less rugged traditional wear. Perhaps something like this was worn under the parka and around the house.

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I cannot tell you how much of the above is actually traditional and how much is "for the tourists". But it is a starting point to start researching for yourself.

Certainly a reindeer hide coat sounds like good weather protection. But it is stiff and waterproof since you have the reindeer skin and not just the fur coat. So you need something less hairy to wear underneath.

Also check out the Karelians, the Native Americans/Canadians, and the Nenets people in North Mongolia.


A useful technique is layered clothing. Basically, several thin layers of clothing can keep a person much warmer and be much more flexible than one big layer of equal thickness. You can have them wear soft down shirts, or vests under knitted sweaters, or doublets under hide coats, or ponchos, or what have you. Use whatever fits your culture.


Model your clothes on the Tarim mummies.

Here is Cherchen man in the clothes he was buried in, 3000 years ago.

cherchen man


But Science News has a fine description of what he actually was wearing.


He sported an outfit that consisted of the trousers, a poncho belted at the waist, one pair of braided bands to fasten the trouser legs below the knees, another pair to fasten soft leather boots at the ankles and a wool headband with four bronze disks and two seashells sewn on it.

Let me show you those serious hard rocking pants!


So: belted poncho, belted boots, pants with multicolor accent bands and braids to hold the legs. And headband. I am not sure why he did not have on the headband for his picture but the 4 bronze discs and shells sounds cool. I hope you are making a graphic novel!


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